Postgraduate Course: Research Methods for Developmental Cognitive Science (PSYL11087)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This semester long course is taught using a combination of lab and lecture sessions. The aim is to help students master the techniques and tools needed to conduct research in developmental science, including collecting and analysing data from children.
This course will teach students how to obtain high-quality research data from children, and how to effectively process and analyse that data.
We will cover
- Research ethics for working with children.
- How to design experiments for children, drawing on the research methods and statistics literature.
- How to collect developmental data, including an opportunity for 'live' data collection.
- Best practice for data storage and data processing (e.g., git, OSF, dplyr).
- Techniques for analysing timecourse data (e.g., longitudinal data, eye-tracking data).
- How to evaluate a research literature (e.g., through meta-analysis).
Students will complete regular short exercises, as well as a semester-long 'replication' project, where they work in small groups to replicate important recent findings in developmental psychology.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Coursework 80%, Participation 20%
Students will complete a series of exercises over the course, as well as a final project report.
||Informal formative feedback will be provided during discussion sessions and practical activities in class. Students will receive feedback on in-course exercises.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- understand the key components of research methods for working with children, and their ethical implications
- understand how to create and analyse developmental experiments for working with children
- understand how to evaluate and (meta)-analyse large sets of experiments and research studies
- learn best practices for collecting and analysing data
|Gelman, A. & Hill, J. (2006). Data analysis using regression and multilevel/hierarchical models. Cambridge University Press.|
Rosenthal, R., & Rosnow, R. L. (2008). Essentials of behavioral research: Methods and data analysis (3rd ed.). McGraw-Hill.
Frank, M. C., & Saxe, R. (2012). Teaching replication. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(6), 600-604.
Simmons, J. P., Nelson, L. D., & Simonsohn, U. (2011). False-positive psychology: Undisclosed flexibility in data collection and analysis allows presenting anything as significant. Psychological Science, 22(11), 1359-1366.
Simonsohn, U., Nelson, L. D., & Simmons, J. P. (2014). P-curve: a key to the file-drawer. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(2), 534.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Research and enquiry skills e.g. independent research, problem solving, critical thinking, digital literacy, numeracy, handling complexity
Personal and intellectual autonomy e.g. developing reflective awareness of ethical dimensions
Personal effectiveness e.g. team working; effectively using resources to achieve goals
Communication skills e.g. engaging effectively in discussions; written communication skills, including scientific writing; interpersonal skills, including child-centred communication
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||This course is primarily for students on the MSc in Developmental Cognitive Science. Students on related MSc programmes who are interested in taking the course should contact the course organiser and may be permitted to take the course subject to constraints on lab capacity etc. For the first year of this new course (2017-18), it is anticipated that it will be possible to accommodate only a small number of students from other programmes.
|Keywords||developmental cognitive science; research methods; statistics
|Course organiser||Dr Hugh Rabagliati
Tel: (0131 6)50 3454
|Course secretary||Miss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188